Comprised of 53 different species, Cattleya orchids are native to Central and South America. The Cattleya orchid is known for its large, showy flowers that come in a wide spectrum of colors. Each flower is made up of three petals, one of which has a large lip. Like many other orchids, Cattleyas are air plants, or epiphytes, that grow on trees and have large, thick roots. Cattleya orchids also have "pseudobulbs" used for storing water.
Position your Cattleya orchid in partial sunlight, where it can receive direct sun during the morning and some shade in midday and the afternoon. Set the orchid outdoors during the warmer spring and summer months.
Keep air temperatures around your Cattleya orchid at 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 to 65 degrees at night. Bring your orchid indoors when temperatures drop below 55 degrees and keep the orchid away from drafts.
Water your Cattleya orchid deeply once or twice per week, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
Set the Cattleya orchid's pot on top of a drainage dish filled with water and pebbles to increase the humidity around the plant. Ensure that the pot is sitting on top of the pebbles and not in the water.
Feed your Cattleya orchid once every two or three weeks with a water-soluble 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer at half the normal dosage rate. Apply the fertilizer when watering the orchid.